Categories
Solutions

PopMarts™ by Kitchens To Go®

Transforming Foodservice Operations with PopMarts by Kitchens To Go

Finding ways to engage new habits and traffic patterns became of the utmost importance, and intersected cleanly with the value that KTG brings to the market.

PopMarts™ are a Turnkey Solution

In July 2020, we introduced PopMarts™ to address the new challenges emerging from the outbreak of the pandemic. It quickly became clear that foodservice operations would have to find new and innovative ways to reach customers; many were forced to drastically alter their behavior. Finding ways to engage new habits and traffic patterns became of the utmost importance, and intersected cleanly with the value that KTG brings to the market.
PopMarts™ are a turnkey, low footprint, relocatable foodservice solution to assist with physical distancing requirements, de-densification efforts, speed of grab-and-go service, and frictionless retail experiences. PopMarts™ are 20’ containerized units that can be placed in strategic locations to create outposts to engage new traffic patterns, pull customers away from more dense locations, or even capitalize on newly underutilized real estate. PopMarts™ can be anything from grab-and-go meal stations to convenience store or grocery concepts. And, moving the container seasonally or to follow demand is simple.
Modular construction continues to gain popularity and there are multiple reasons why building modular is the best choice for any budget. While the unit is being constructed, site preparation is occurring simultaneously. Having the building manufactured at the same time that site preparation is going on greatly reduces the overall construction time so whether utilizing a container to launch or expand business, the benefits of choosing this option over a stick-built structure remain the same—quicker ROI. The same goes for shipping containers. Shipping containers and purpose-built structures are perfect for housing kitchens of all shapes and sizes and are right on trend. Whether you’re serving gourmet cuisine, light fare, or simply expanding your program to incorporate grab-and-go or convenience stores, there are no limits to the imagination.
Operators can either lease the KTG branded PopMarts™ or create the configuration and appearance that best integrates with their brand and specific requirements of their operation. Each PopMart™ comes preloaded with equipment so it’s ready for business the moment it’s placed and stocked. And, each unit can be prewired to be integrated with an existing POS system or a contactless mobile payment solution.
With a quick production timeline, operations can make substantive changes faster than ever before with PopMarts™. And with the flexibility, relocate-ability, and low footprint of these containers, operators have the opportunity to reach their customers where they are in ways that traditional construction simply can’t—opening the door to a truly reactive foodservice operation that can be limber enough to tackle the challenges of a dramatically shifting industry.
PopMarts™ by Kitchens To Go® were recognized by the Fast Company editors with a Fast Company 2021 World-Changing Ideas award.
related blog posts
Connect with us.

Kitchens To Go provides mobile, modular and containerized solutions for projects of any timeframe. Markets and conditions are changing constantly, however, so please connect with us to find out what options are currently available for your project’s need and timeline.

Categories
Solutions

Five Considerations for Commercial Kitchen Renovations

5 Essential Considerations for Successful Commercial Kitchen Projects

Big projects almost never happen just the way you plan. If you’re planning a commercial kitchen renovation, you know the renovation is likely not to happen as smoothly as you would like. You need to scenario plan for the “what if’s” and plan ahead to avoid greater hassles and increased construction fatigue.

solutions designed for renovations

1. Think carefully through the alternatives.
Whether you are a college or university, a hospital or other healthcare institution, a correctional institution, a military base, or any other facility committed to feeding a large number of people, there are really only three alternatives to consider with a major commercial kitchen renovation.

With any renovation project, time and cost are usually the two biggest factors. With phased construction, the cost will usually exceed a complete shutdown. The planning for phased construction is more intricate too. Phased construction will lead to a longer period of disruption and possible annoyance to you and the people you serve.

A complete shutdown may not be an option. You have people to serve and engaging an outside catering firm may be conceivable but not preferred. Daily outside catering is expensive, usually 2—30% more than in-house production, and you lose control over quality and food safety. Further, your people know that the food is catered and there may be a feeling of a lack of options and menu flexibility.

Generally, a temporary modular commercial kitchen is the least disruptive and most cost-effective solution. That’s why the U.S. Naval Academy, Harvard Business School, the University of Southern California, major hospitals and correctional institutions all over the country, Disney, Eli Lilly, Paramount Studios and the U.S Marines, among hundreds of others, including even an oil drilling rig, chose Kitchens To Go temporary modular commercial kitchens to lessen their construction fatigue. Smaller operations can benefit from a temporary kitchen, too—if you are feeding more than approximately 50 people a day, a temporary or mobile kitchen may be a solution for you.

2. Consider the logistics and preparation needed.
Great care, consideration, and planning go into a commercial kitchen renovation project. Logistics, permitting, and health department signoffs are just a few of the challenges. If you’ve not led a significant project like yours previously, then a team leading you who has is a major advantage. The assigned Kitchens To Go team on a project supports the permitting and approvals, street closures, storage, utilities, trash, wastewater, health department sing-offs, and more.
3. Start the detailed planning now.
It can take six months or more to design, build, permit, transport and install a larger or more complicated temporary commercial kitchen solution. Planning properly ahead of time can insure no downtime and no interruption to service. Often, there can be tricky access and environmental or political issues that may require negotiation and compromise. Having a detailed, thought-out plan will help navigate these challenges.
4. Involve your temporary kitchen provider in your early project planning.
A foodservice professional may experience a major commercial kitchen renovation once or twice in their career. A modular kitchen provider like Kitchens To Go is guiding organizations like yours each day. Determining the right solution early on can reduce costs and create efficiency for your operation. Whether a mobile, modular, containerized, or permanent modular solution, Kitchens To Go will be able to assess your need and recommend the optimal solution. A solid understanding for cost, efficiency, capacity, access and environmental issues will lead to determining the right resources to serve your specific needs.
5. Recognize the costs and tradeoffs.
Admittedly, monthly lease costs for a temporary kitchen solution can look high when first encountered.  What organizations usually find, however, is that because they can do their commercial kitchen renovation without having to juggle and compromise, total cost to lease a temporary solution is less than the alternatives.
Additionally, those that choose a temporary commercial kitchen solution usually don’t have to lay off staff, shutdown the kitchen for an extended period of time, or bring in outside catering. Those who choose an interim kitchen solution continue serving their people to the same level of quality and service those people have come to expect.
While a temporary kitchen solution will be an investment above what your normal operating costs, the investment is almost always costs less than the alternatives and helps you maintain business continuity. Our recommendation is to be open and realistic to the costs and tradeoffs necessary to meet your goals for your project’s total cost, timeline, and level of service in the interim. Additionally, you must understand if the solutions proposed are efficient configurations that will make operations easier on kitchen staff and those they serve.
When a major kitchen renovation is in your future, do as hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions, hospitals, and governmental organizations have done, and give Kitchens To Go a call to schedule a complimentary site visit and consultation. We guarantee the discovery will help you make a wise decision that makes your next year or two go much more smoothly – honest.
related blog posts
Connect with us.

Kitchens To Go provides mobile, modular and containerized solutions for projects of any timeframe. Markets and conditions are changing constantly, however, so please connect with us to find out what options are currently available for your project’s need and timeline.

Categories
Solutions

Enriching the Campus Dining Experience

Beyond Cafeterias to Dynamic Campus Eateries

Useful and inviting dining areas are factors for college student success and satisfaction. Multiple, custom dining environments enrich the student experience and provide an atmosphere that increases campus pride.

Menu and foodservice options play an integral role in the campus dining experience. Today’s well-traveled, well-dined students desire full-service restaurants and more mixed, all-purpose spaces for eating, lounging, studying, and entertainment. Gone are the days of “cafeterias” and in are the days of trendy, hip, technologically advanced, all-purpose spaces. The challenge is accommodating the palette of the Gen Z student in aging dining complexes.

Recruitment and Retention

Recent studies have shown that the dining hall and foodservice programs play important roles in the recruitment and retention strategies for college and universities. Useful and inviting dining areas are factors for college student success and satisfaction. Multiple, custom dining environments enrich the student experience and provide an atmosphere that increases campus pride.

Out with the Old, In with the New
While we wish it were this easy, planning for a new dining hall takes time. Often, the planning and construction phase can last from four to six years. While planning may take two to three years, construction can last anywhere from 24 – 36 months. In the past, a renovation meant one of two options: a) phased construction (takes more time and costs more), or b) complete shutdown (detrimental to the students and culinary team).
Today, phased construction and a shutdown are still options, but other alternatives have emerged. There are off-the-shelf temporary trailers, but these often lack a quality, finished look consistent with the university image. Further, there are fewer options for customization and modifications within the trailers. There is the option for a conventional building in the interim, but this requires a significantly longer buildout.
Modern, Interim Foodservice Facilities
The other option is to erect a temporary foodservice facility that is contemporary in design and feels like a permanent structure. With modular units and temporary structures, this option can be assembled and operational in less time and be operational by the time demolition is set to begin on the outdated facility.
designing the right solution
An interim facility utilizes a number of different modular units all uniquely configured to the institution’s needs. A project may have a few modular units to over a dozen modular units with areas specific to preparation, cooking, dishwashing, storage, restrooms, and cold, frozen, and dry storage. A dining facility can be erected too to continue serving the same number of students and create an atmosphere that is appealing to the modern student. Until the construction is complete, the interim facility can bridge the gap and provide the same high-quality dining services that students expect.
With such a solution, colleges and universities can keep students engaged and connected on campus and help them achieve the satisfaction and success they’re seeking. Have a question about a potential project? Connect with us using the form below.
related blog posts
Connect with us.

Kitchens To Go provides mobile, modular and containerized solutions for projects of any timeframe. Markets and conditions are changing constantly, however, so please connect with us to find out what options are currently available for your project’s need and timeline.

Categories
Solutions

Innovations in Interim Foodservice Facilities

Temporary Foodservice Solutions: A Deep Dive into Modern Interim Kitchens

As hospitals, universities, and correctional facilities continue to renovate dated foodservice and dining facilities, a few trends within the industry are guiding their decisions.

Challenges Foodservice Operators Face

Foodservice operators at these institutions (schools, healthcare, senior living, government, military) are trying to accommodate an increased desire for menu customization, grab and go options, speed, fresh ingredients, dietary and gluten-free options.
While some changes can be made within existing facilities, wide-scale changes are often implemented as part of a major renovation or expansion to the existing facility. Such construction projects can often last 24–36 months, and foodservice operation teams are finding that they can keep their operations flowing and implement modern changes with temporary or interim kitchen and dining facility solutions. Kitchens To Go® and its range of Solutions To Go equip providers with mobile and modular solutions that don’t require awaiting the completion of the construction project.
mobile solutions
Mobile solutions offer great flexibility and mobility. With features from dishwashers to refrigerators, freezers, and HVAC, foodservice staff have the same state-of-the-art equipment in units that range from 18’ to 53’ long. Kitchens To Go® can equip and modify units to meet your specific specifications. Units can operate with either propane or electric too. Depending on the number of meals the institution serves, the space available on-site, and the length of the construction project, a mobile unit could be a great option to maximize space and keep operations uninterrupted.
Modular Units & Complexes
Modular kitchens are functional and efficient, perfect for long-term projects and permanent needs. Highly configurable components interchange with one another to create open, clear space for cooking and prep which facilitates good verbal and visual communication. Facilities include certified hoods with engineered make-up air, fire protection systems, and HVAC. Dry, cold and frozen storage, ware washing, dining, restroom, and office facilities can also be incorporated to create and entire complex. Kitchens To Go® partners with clients to create a customized solution that will help reduce downtime, project costs, and construction fatigue.
Special Diets
There is greater demand for gluten-free, allergen-free, kosher, vegan and vegetarian options. Having dedicated kitchen space for these offerings is often challenging, which is why a temporary or permanent solution may be needed. Kitchens To Go® can provide foodservice operators a choice of mobile or modular units, or a permanent Bolt-On® Kitchen to provide the necessary space for these offering(s) to help maximize menu options to meet the needs of the people served.
Sustainability
Institutions are keenly focused on green efforts as part of sustainability initiatives. Kitchens To Go® helps with these initiatives by repurposing the mobile and modular units, lighting, serving equipment, and even interior furnishings from one project to another. A pay-it-forward concept has emerged with institutions passing on equipment that can be repurposed to another, which also saves cost and limits the disposal of working equipment.
Through these innovative solutions, Kitchens To Go® continues to help foodservice operators ensure business continuity with only positive changes to the quality of foodservice throughout the duration of the project.
related blog posts
Connect with us.

Kitchens To Go provides mobile, modular and containerized solutions for projects of any timeframe. Markets and conditions are changing constantly, however, so please connect with us to find out what options are currently available for your project’s need and timeline.

Categories
Solutions

Modular Kitchens for Education: What You Must Know

Essential Insights on Modular Kitchen Solutions for Educational Institutions

You’ve known for a while that you need to remodel your kitchen and servery and dishwashing facility, and even your dining hall. You’ve finally gotten the architects and engineers and administration on the same page, and you’ve even gotten the budget approved.

now what?
You know there are a hundred things to think about and plan for. First off, you’re going to be down for 12-15 months—which you know will probably stretch to 18 months or more if things go like they usually do. And while you’re down, you still have thousands of meals to serve every day to hungry students. Not to mention the special events all over campus that require food service support.

Challenges Foodservice Operators Face

Who do you engage to assist in a delicate, complicated, important project that has to go right?
When the University of Southern California, The Naval Academy at Annapolis, Harvard Business School, Arizona State University, the University of Mississippi, and many other schools and universities faced exactly that problem, they called on Kitchens To Go, the leader in modular, temporary, and mobile food service facilities, and winner of the 2012 Kitchen Innovations Award for our Bolt-On modular kitchens, presented by the National Restaurant Association.
Kitchens To Go engineers, architects, and food service experts will respond to your inquiry with a complimentary site visit to get to know everything there is to know about your situation.
Your menu. Your food preparation style. Where you might place temporary facilities. Obstacles to that placement, like buildings and trees and difficult access. If there is flexibility in the timing, what time of year would be best to start the process. How long you’ll need an interim solution. Should you lease or buy. And all the hundred and one other considerations.
You can’t make that call too soon, by the way. Much like the demolition and construction of your new permanent facility, it can take a year or more to hammer out a final design, get health and building permits approved, get your modules built and furnished and delivered and installed, get utilities connected, and get approved by the health department.
Before you do make that call, here are some of the things to be thinking about, along with a few answers, so you’ll be prepared:
Size, layout, configuration of multiple units, type of energy used, equipment, dry and cold storage, delivery time, etc.
Modules are available in sizes ranging from 8.5 ft x 20 ft up to 12 ft by 60 ft, constructed for use with natural gas, propane or electricity, and with or without HVAC and refrigeration. All equipment is commercial grade, and is NSF and UL approved. Equipment is pre-installed and pre-tested to avoid any on-site challenges. In compliance with the strictest safety standards, units include Tempered Make-up Air, and exhaust systems with fire suppression as well.
Modules can be configured for cooking, food prep, assembly, serving, and washing. Other modules can be used for storage or office space. There are even toilet and locker room modules, as well as trash rooms and recycling centers. Modules are designed to maximize flow, accessibility, and productivity, even when many modules are connected together. They are designed to be able to be lifted and set by crane if road access isn’t feasible. Rooftop placement, arborist concerns, or ensuring historic venue safety and protection are all easily handled.
Modules can be configured in unlimited arrays. When USC needed a solution, we designed, built and linked 17 individual modules, and connected them to an 11,000 square foot custom-built aluminum-framed membrane structure that we also built to ensure long-term integrity and aesthetic value. When the Naval Academy replaced their facilities, we provided the membrane structure (that successfully withstood several nasty blizzards) and other modules that enabled the Academy to prepare and serve some 14,500 meals per day to their 4,500 Midshipmen.
We have solutions for smaller operations, too—from about 50 students up. We will provide a comprehensive engineered drawing package that will help your team in getting required code approvals and permits from campus, regional, and state Building and Health Departments. We’re familiar with code requirements throughout the country, and all modules are designed and built to conform to all health and building codes.
PROGRAMMING & DESIGN
1–4 weeks, or longer for very large or complex projects

CODE APPROVALS
2–4 weeks

PRODUCTION
1–4 weeks, or longer for very large or complex projects

DELIVERY & INSTALLATION
1–4 weeks, or longer for very large or complex projects

TESTING & TRAINING
2–5 days

TOTAL
5 to 18 weeks, or more, for larger projects
As you can see, a large or complex project, such as one with a great deal of high-end custom design, with significant physical or environmental challenges can easily take six months or more to design, build and install. Our expertise can help in the planning process, so the earlier we get involved, the better.
In cases of emergency or disaster relief, we have self-contained units ready to ship in just a day or two, for rapid delivery and installation. We can get you up and running very quickly with a multitude of turnkey solutions, but might not have all the custom options available when we have time to engineer a solution specific to your operation.
The single most important factor when dealing with our solutions is that every cost is outlined before you commit, so there are no surprises later from hidden costs. That is absolutely critical to a successful implementation, so please make sure that you are guaranteed of that from your provider. After all, if you’re 6 months in to a big project and a hidden cost comes up, what are you going to do – have all the equipment removed and start over? Not likely.
In many instances, our clients find leasing this kind of equipment makes the most sense. Modules can also be purchased, which generally starts to make sense if the project is anticipated to last more than 18 months and there is a defined use for the facility after the end of the project. For example, USC purchased the student union complex  and converted it into an athletic arena, but returned the kitchen production units when their new kitchen and dining facility was ready.
Every solution we offer is unique, so we urge you consult with an expert to assist you in navigating every single facet of your project roll out and implementation. Delivery, Installation & Removal fees vary based upon the size of the project and site conditions. Utility costs are comparable to the average costs for the facility being replaced.
Phased construction may be an option, but it typically takes two or three times as long and is much more expensive and disruptive than doing the entire job as a single seamless process. Phasing may not be possible in instances where the new facility covers the existing footprint, or where there are security issues, such as on a military or high-tech facility.
Halting in-house foodservice and partnering with an outside foodservice provider to have meals brought in from an off-site venue can often cost 20% – 30% more than in-house production. There is also the possibility to consider that you lose control of food safety, consistency and quality. In addition, a kitchen shutdown can cause morale problems as you have to relocate or lay off staff. An interim kitchen reduces costs, minimizes the length of the project, and ensures quality control and consistency.
Temporary kitchens are a cost-effective and efficient solution for:

Check out these related case study videos from Harvard University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and California State University, Long Beach.

related blog posts
Connect with us.

Kitchens To Go provides mobile, modular and containerized solutions for projects of any timeframe. Markets and conditions are changing constantly, however, so please connect with us to find out what options are currently available for your project’s need and timeline.